Business feature: Weight loss surgery can eliminate more than kilos

EXPERTISE: Dr Costa Karihaloo (right) and Dr Martin McLeod are surgeons at Surgery Central and specialise in weight loss surgery.
EXPERTISE: Dr Costa Karihaloo (right) and Dr Martin McLeod are surgeons at Surgery Central and specialise in weight loss surgery.

If you’ve been battling with weight loss for some time, you may be considering surgery. While weight loss surgery encompasses a variety of surgical procedures, the most common performed are sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass.

A sleeve gastrectomy involves removing approximately 80% of the stomach and transforming the stomach into a narrow tube.

A gastric bypass, also called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, involves creating a small pouch out of the stomach itself and then joining it to part of the small intestine. An additional join is performed between small bowel further downstream.

Both sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass use key-hole surgery so scarring is minimal. The operations work by restricting the volume of food a person can consume. Long term data shows that patients will lose about 25% of total body weight 25 years post-surgery.

Dr Costa Karihaloo and Dr Martin McLeod are bariatric (weight loss), abdominal and general surgeons at Surgery Central in Newcastle. They say that while the key motivator for patients is to lose weight, there’s a host of other health benefits that occur.

“Improvement in control of diabetes, reduced blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels, reduced pain from arthritis, improved fertility and improved cardiovascular fitness are all often experienced after surgery”.

Leading up to surgery, patients will be seen by Dr Karihaloo or Dr McLeod at least twice as well as a dietitian, psychologist and practice nurse. The process is thorough and ensures patients fully understand what is involved in surgery and post-operative recovery.

As with any operation, there are risks. Patients discuss all aspects of the surgery at the time of consultation at Surgery Central with safety taken particularly seriously.

“There exists high level evidence from numerous long-term studies to support surgery as being safer than diet and exercise alone. Surgery is a tool to augment lifestyle change,” adds Dr Karihaloo.

“Diet and exercise are vital in the post-operative phase. We encourage patients to commence physical activity of some form immediately after surgery. Most patients take 2 to 4 weeks off work, with exercise critical during this time,” says Dr McLeod.

Surgery Central performed the first laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and bypass in the Hunter some 10 years ago. Surgery Central also performed the first mini gastric bypass in 2013 and the first laparoscopic duodenal interposition in 2018.

Both surgeons operate alongside skilled anaesthetists and nursing staff experienced at managing obese patients undergoing weight loss surgery.  They regularly attend  conferences to help maintain skills and expertise. If you are considering weight loss surgery, contact Surgery Central.